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Proofreader Certification – Best Proofreading Courses and Why You Need Them

Proofreader Certification – Best Proofreading Courses and Why You Need Them

Are you a grammar nerd? If you’re interested in freelance proofreading, you probably have questions like do you need a proofreader certification, and how long does it take to become a proofreader. Keep reading fellow word nerds and you’ll find out the best proofreading certification courses as well as info about how to become a freelance proofreader without a degree.

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Proofreading Certification

Do you freak out over the proper use of their versus they’re?

Do you hone in on spelling mistakes on menus?

If this sounds like you, a career in freelance proofreading might be a great fit for your eagle eye. And it’s a better use of your superpowers than annoying your friends and family with your helpful corrections.

Proofreaders are needed now more than ever. The amount of written content pumped out every day in the form of blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, ads, job postings, and much more is astonishing.

This sheer volume of content coupled with the speed at which content is produced, means misstakes aplenty. I mean mistakes.

If you want to know exactly how to become a freelance proofreader, read this post. In the article I interview a highly successful freelance proofreader and she spills all the details on her success so you can get there too.

Do You Need Proofreader Certification

But if you’re at the stage where you already know what proofreading is, you know it’s a fit for you, and you want to pursue it, what next?

Do you need a degree, proofreading certification, or both?

The short answer is you don’t need a degree in English, a Bachelor’s degree or proofreader certification.

The longer answer is that the online space has exploded with work, but also people looking for work, customers, or clients.

You might have an advantage over the competition if you have a degree, or if you have certification. Another big advantage is you could charge higher proofreading rates if you have a degree or proofreading certificate.

A disadvantage is proofreader certification courses take time and money to complete. Many courses are short and affordable though, so this might not be a big disadvantage.

More about this in the next section…

Proofreading Certification Online

Just like anything online, there are places that offer high quality proofreading certification online, and there are also crap courses and scams.

I’ll help you stay clear of those and share the three best proofreading courses I have found.

How Do I Become a Certified Proofreader

Societies for proofreading and editing are usually country-specific.

For the USA, the two main collectives for editors and proofreaders are Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) and the Society for Editing (ACES).

That being said, there is no single specific proofreading test or accredited proofreading course that will get you certified as a proofreader.

Some online proofreading courses offer a certificate upon completion to become a certified proofreader. All three courses I share below offer certification.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Proofreader

It takes anywhere from zero hours to a month.

You don’t need to complete proofreader certification; you can simply start offering proofreading services. Most people don’t do it this way, because you don’t just want to get clients, you want to keep clients and get referrals. This means doing an excellent job proofreading.

It really isn’t enough to simply have an excellent grasp of all the nuances of grammar in the English language. There are proofreading industry-specific terms and conventions you should know before you offer services.

The three proofreading courses I’ll share below vary in length, but none are super time-consuming.

Proofreading CourseCourse Information
Proofread Like a Pro6 sections • 48 lectures • 1h 45m total length
Certification in Editing and Proofreading Masterclass9 sections • 42 lectures • 1h 37m total length
Proofread Anywhere80+ lessons in 10+ modules

You can probably finish one of the first two proofreading courses (including doing the homework) in a weekend.

The third proofreading course is much more comprehensive. It will take you approximately 2-4 weeks to complete working on it part-time. If you booked off some time and were super motivated, you could probably complete it in a week.

Proofreading Certification Courses

Now we’ll go over three excellent proofreading courses available online.

1. Proofread Anywhere

Proofread Anywhere is by far the best of the proofreading courses out there. It is taught by Caitlin Pyle who started her proofreading career in 2007. She has been teaching Proofread Anywhere since 2014 so she is incredibly experienced in proofreading.

This proofreading course offers a lot more personalized support, both during the course and after, than other proofreading courses.

You are invited to join a private VIP Facebook group once you complete Proofread Anywhere. Caitlin and her team are in there constantly answering questions, offering job advice, pricing, and more. The community of other freelance proofreaders is invaluable too, and you’ll be able to learn and support one another.

If you want to learn more about proofreading and Caitlin’s proofreading certification course, you can sign up for her free workshop here. She offers a 45-minute workshop that is more like a starter kit to proofreading for FREE!

Proofread Anywhere Proofreader Certification

Over 15,000+ students have taken the Proofread Anywhere course. There are two different tiers to choose from: Ignite and Ignite Plus. If having a certificate of completion is important to you to be able to show to future employers/contractors, make sure you choose Ignite Plus.

Proofread Anywhere includes valuable bonuses that I haven’t seen in any other proofreading course. These include resource guides:

  • The Ultimate Freelancer Tax Guide (often overlooked but super important part of being a freelancer)
  • Handbook of Commonly Misused (and Abused!) Words (a 57-page guide to 166 words/terms easily mixed up and confused – a guide every proofreader should have)
  • Plus a bunch of other bonuses (I won’t spoil all the surprises – you’ll have to check out all the goods here)

If you’re ready to start your amazing proofreading career with the help of Proofread Anywhere, get all the details and where to register here.

2. Proofread Like a Pro Proofreader Certification

Proofreading is a skill you learn best by doing. In the Proofread like a Pro course, you’ll get the opportunity to practice your skills after almost every lecture. You’ll be given a proofreading exercise to test your understanding of the material – and improve your ability to catch typical mistakes.

Clare Lynch is the instructor of Proofread like a Pro. She has a PhD in English Literature and teaches at the University of Cambridge. She’s also a qualified and highly experienced corporate trainer.

This course is not a beginner’s guide to proofreading. It is designed to give you the skills to proofread professionally. It includes a module on how to find proofreading work.


1.5 hours on-demand video

21 articles

23 downloadable resources

Certificate of completion

Check out Proofread Like a Pro and sign up here.

3. Certification in Editing and Proofreading

The Certification in Editing and Proofreading Masterclass costs the least of the three proofreading courses, and is made for beginners. It has less information about setting up the business side of proofreading, and where to find proofreading jobs.

This course gets positive reviews but the one criticism is it is more lecture-style without a lot of exercises to practice and hone your skills.

It is taught by Prof. Krishna N. Sharma, PhD, who is a prolific author as well as a TEDx speaker.

This course includes:

1.5 hours on-demand video

5 articles

2 downloadable resources

Certificate of completion

Check out Certification in Editing and Proofreading Masterclass here.

The Final Word on Getting a Certificate in Editing and Proofreading Online

You don’t need a degree to proofread.

You also don’t need proofreader certification.

But if you’re serious about making money as a proofreader, it is highly recommended that you take a proofreading course.

As I mentioned, this is the best proofreading course available. It will teach you everything you need to know to start a successful freelance proofreading business.

Then you can let me know how many errors I have made in this post. 😉  (Please don’t, I am kidding.)

Now you’re ready to sign up for a proofreading certification course, or you can go ahead and apply to freelance proofreading jobs right away. Here are the best places online for freelance proofreading jobs.

Good luck!

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The best courses to become an in-demand freelance proofreader (and give you the edge over the competition). Woman working from home online proofreading.

Are you planning on just applying to proofreading jobs or taking proofreader certification?

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